There are a lot of things I’m not good at:
- Project management
- Completing expense reports
- Tasks requiring a lot of attention to detail
- Reading large blocks of text – I skim and miss things
- Researching and writing long documents, like strategy plans
- Filling out a forms – it makes me want to crawl into a hole and not come out
I could go on… but I think you get it.
Now that I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD at 44 years young, this ALL makes sense. But for the whole of my corporate career I had no idea why I struggled so much with things that seemed easy for everyone else
So much so, that I spent YEARS trying to get good at things that were really not in my wheelhouse
I would spend hours reading long documents that hurt my brain and even longer trying to create strategy plans that would show my boss just how smart I was.
He would ask me whether I thought it made sense to continue trying to improve my weaknesses, or if I should just focus on my strengths. Which, to him meant people management and not executive leadership.
And so many times I would reply, “I want to be a VP and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
And so this would repeat. Me trying harder. Me not getting a better result.
The problem is that we were both wrong. I didn’t actually need to improve on these weaknesses to be a great VP.
In fact, when I finally became a VP I saw a ton of success. And then I became an EVP and saw a ton of success there.
And I never really did get good at the things I sucked at.
So then how was I able to make this shift?
The answer is this:
I got really good at leaning into my superpowers and spending more time in my zone of genius.
The truth is, I was pretty great at:
- Creating a vision for the department / function
- Figuring out the best way to grow and scale teams
- Motivating people to bring their best selves to work
- Understanding where processes were broken or missing
- Collaborating cross-functionally to build winning strategies
- Connecting the dots between data, outcomes and what they really meant
And maybe most importantly:
- Surrounding myself with people who were amazing at the things I was not amazing at
So instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to get the data I needed, I found someone who was a great compliment to me, hired him, and allowed HIM to go get the data that would direct my vision.
Instead of doing project management myself, I assigned projects to people on my team who would manage them.
And here’s the best part: This isn’t just great for you, it’s great for the people on your team! They get more visibility, better opportunities and a chance to really shine.
Okay, so where do you even start?
I’m going to guess that you already know where your skills lie.
- Think about things that are easy for you, that aren’t all that easy for other people.
- What are things do you really enjoy doing? That light you up and where you could spend hours of your time?
- Now… here’s the big one: How can you spend MORE time doing those things? How can you leverage these skills to help you excel in your current job, and in the next one?
If you can figure that out, you’re gold.
Maybe you’re thinking:
“But I’m not a VP. I can’t just hire a bunch of people around me to take on the things I’m not great at.”
Fair enough. Then what can you do? Is there a tool you can implement that will remove some of the manual work? Should you consider a VA? If you’re managing people, can you see whether any of these tasks make sense to delegate to someone on your team?
Many women I work with struggle to delegate! They either think it’s easier to just do it themselves, worry that no one can do it as well as they can, or feel bad passing off a ‘crappy’ task that they don’t like doing.
I’ll dive into more of this is a future newsletter, but the fact is, if you won’t delegate, you’ll never get to that next level. You simply can’t do it all and do it all well.
And as for feeling bad? See my point above – delegating projects or tasks to your team allows them an opportunity to shine! Don’t assume that just because you hate doing something, everyone else hates it too!
I mean really… that’s just a little egotistical don’t you think? 😉
To drive this point home even more, spending more time in your zone of genius means getting better results, which is beneficial to your company. Struggling through things that feel hard is also doing your company / boss a disservice. They want the best of you!
The truth is, once I made this change, my job felt easier, I got MUCH better results, and it was way more fun!
The results we produced were measurable… revenue grew by 9 figures in 2 years. Yep… $XXX,XXX,XXX. That’s some big growth.
This is just one of the concepts I cover in my group program, which launches next month and kicks off in September! But since you’re on my email list, you can sign up early AND get an early-bird discount.
You won’t be able to book a call with me before the end of the month, but you can DM me if you want to learn more 🙂
Until next time friends… ✌️💜